Bill Nye may be the “Science Guy,” but his primary accomplishment in the field — really, just an engineering accomplishment — is creating a part that was used on the Boeing 747 airliner, a fuel-devouring double-decker passenger plane with four screaming jet engines.
Of course, the 747 first flew in 1969, long before Nye had become the “Science Guy” or before global warming became an excuse for private-jet types to lecture the plebes about their usage of fossil fuels. (Heck, it was even before the days when global cooling, an au courant scientific theory during the 1970s which stated pollution was hurtling Earth headlong into a new ice age, was a thing.)
Nye might therefore be forgiven by the fossil fuel-allergic left for playing a part, albeit a small one, in the 747’s design. What they might not realize is that their woke hero — now a supporter of the Green New Deal and such an ardent Chicken Little-ist about climate change that he declared it a national security threat in testimony before Congress — appeared with Ellen DeGeneres in a Disney World ride that shilled for fossil fuels in which he equivocated on whether or not global warming was a thing and said we were always finding more gas.
A liberal hypocrite? A shocker, I tell you. (The Western Journal has never been at a loss to find these, and we’ll continue to point out how the people who tell you how to live your lives don’t practice what they preach. We’ll continue to document the hypocrisy — and you can help us bring America the truth by subscribing.)
What’s more, this was hardly 1968. The Exxon-sponsored attraction ran from 1996 until 2017, according to the U.K. Guardian, which ran a retrospective on it on Wednesday.
“Ellen’s Energy Adventure” was an exhibit at Disney World’s Epcot Center, the section of the Florida theme park with the big golf-ball-looking-thing that feels vaguely like a school trip: Sure, it’s better than sitting through another boring class, but not quite as fun as going to a real theme park.
According to Lost Epcot, the ride was originally known as the Universe of Energy when it opened in 1982, but it received a hip upgrade in the mid-1990s. I’m guessing Exxon couldn’t afford any of the “Friends” stars, so DeGeneres — then the star of a sitcom people kinda sorta occasionally watched — was tapped.
“An indoor ride, it was a welcome reprieve from the Florida sun,” the Guardian’s Anita Little wrote. “After buckling into your seat in what seemed like a theater auditorium, and the lights dimmed, a familiar figure would appear on the huge screen in front of you.”
“You’re probably surprised to see me here, aren’t you?” DeGeneres began. The ride was called “Ellen’s Energy Adventure,” so unless anyone had stumbled in under the misapprehension that Ellen Barkin would be guiding them through the ins and outs of energy, probably not.
The attraction being sponsored by Exxon, you may not be shocked to learn it focused on energy of the fossil fuel variety. Little’s take — unsurprising, considering the Guardian skews well to the left — was that “the message directed at the often young minds of riders was brazen and, in the light of the climate emergency now unfolding, quite remarkable: fossil fuels are glorious and the climate crisis is not such a big deal.”
And one of the messengers was none other than Bill Nye.
Here’s the plot of the “ride,” which sounds silly even by Disney educational kids’ ride standards: DeGeneres falls asleep in front of her TV during an episode of “Jeopardy!” In her dream, she’s on “Jeopardy!” All of the questions are energy-based, and she loses to Albert Einstein and Jamie Lee Curtis as a scientist.
DeGeneres admits that, goshdarnit, she just doesn’t know enough about fossil fuels. Enter Nye, who takes her back to a tropical forest on Earth 220 million years ago.
“Where’s the energy?” Ellen asks.
“Oh, it’s all around you!” says Nye, cosplaying as a pith-helmeted explorer. “See, these plants and animals are soaking up energy from the sun. When they die and get buried, time, pressure and heat will cook them into the fossil fuels we rely on today – like coal, natural gas and oil!”
“And now the ride becomes very different, as the cinema screen disappears and the seating sections begin to move, passing dioramas of roaring animatronic dinosaurs, and even an animatronic model of DeGeneres herself fighting a feisty reptile,” Little noted. “It is Jurassic Park, but cheesier.”
There’s then a section about renewable energy, but Nye says there’s not enough there to meet our energy needs. However, he notes there are two more centuries of coal energy remaining.
“What about global warming?” Ellen asks.
“It’s a hot topic with lots of questions and it’s one of the big reasons scientists are working on ways to burn fuels like coal more efficiently than ever,” Nye responds.
Wait, he’s all for clean coal and carbon capture, the bête noire of the left? Whoops! And he doesn’t take a position on climate change, either!
Then they go to a gas power plant. “It’s clean-burning!” Nye exclaims — “incorrectly,” Little says.
(To back that statement up, she links to another Guardian article which acknowledges gas emits roughly half the CO2 coal does and that it’s seen as a “bridging fuel” for nations looking to cut carbon emissions until renewables can provide enough energy for their people. The “incorrect” part comes from the fact it may emit more of another greenhouse gas, methane, and that a Dutch advertising watchdog didn’t let energy companies advertise it as cleaner-burning after environmentalist groups threw a hissy fit. Details, details. But I digress.)
“Don’t worry, we’re always finding more natural gas all the time,” Nye tells DeGeneres as they ride through the gas power plant.
The whole attraction is the better part of an hour long, which makes you think it would be forgotten by now, five years after its closure. Believe it or not, there’s a reason it ran for 21 years, and not just because DeGeneres and Nye experienced late-career renaissances as a talk-show host and a lefty activist, respectively.
“Though understated compared with the rollercoasters and 4D rides, Ellen’s Energy Adventure was a beloved part of the Disney machine.” Little noted. “It built up a devoted fandom that spawned countless YouTube videos, tweets, wikis and blogposts.”
In fact, you can watch the whole thing here if you have nothing better to do with 36 minutes of your life:
According to the Guardian, Nye didn’t respond to a request for comment. You might think he’d be eager to denounce this as a mistake from his past, considering he testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery last year at a hearing about the national security threat — you heard me correctly — posed by climate change.
“I’ve fought this for 30 years: trying to get people to accept the science of climate change. I offered four bets to two notorious climate deniers,” Nye said during his testimony.
“I offered them $10,000 that 2016 would be the hottest year on record, 2010-2020 would be the hottest decade on record. Neither one of them would take either one of the bets.
“They wouldn’t take the bets because they’re scared. We’re all frightened,” he added.
During the appearance, he even claimed that climate change was the reason birth rates were down globally.
— Steve Milloy (@JunkScience) June 9, 2021
“This thing is overwhelming and if you don’t believe me, there have been these studies lately that, worldwide, people are having fewer and fewer children,” Nye said.
“That’s because women and men are a little reticent to bring a kid into a world where the world’s on fire. So, everybody, we’re in this together. We’ve got to fight this fight together. I’m scared too. Let’s get to work.”
So, why not use this opportunity to gnash his teeth and rend his bowtie at his multifarious sins? Everyone loves a good woke celebrity groveling on their knees for their past transgressions.
He could have given a Lady Macbeth performance in which he wrung his hands, trying to get the filthy, incriminating oil stains off of them. He could have gone full J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb — a man who said watching the first A-bomb go off reminded him of a line from the Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” (Perhaps, “Now I am become carbon-emitter, the warmer of worlds” doesn’t have the same ring to it.)
At the very least, he could have promised to give that sweet, sweet Exxon money to Greenpeace — or the Department of Homeland Security, since global warming is apparently a national security threat. Instead: Eh, no comment.
I guess we can’t expect any apology for the 747, either. Which leads, invariably, to one question: When does Bill Nye get canceled?